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Games are really expensive. But they can sometimes be easy to make. I just made one that came out really cool, and since I’m pretty sure my little nephews and niece don’t read this, I can share with you their Christmas gift. When my sisters and I were kids, digging around at grandmas house, we came across an old game called Chaos. I’ve searched for it lots of times, and I’m pretty sure it’s not available or not made anymore. It was a lot of fun, though, and since it was a pretty simple gameboard with simple pieces, I decided to try to make a version of it.

The idea of the game is to be the first one to get all of your pieces from one side of the board to the other. BUT, all the pieces look the same on one side, and you’re not allowed to flip any pieces over to make sure they’re yours until you’ve reached the other side of the board, your “home.” So, it’s sort of a memory game, as well as a strategy -type game.

We buy a lot of Juicy Juice here, and so we started saving the caps, because, since they’re all identical, they would make great game pieces.  Colored permanent markers worked well to mark the inside for each player’s set.

Then, I got to work making a checker-type board, but with all the squares the same color. I used old scraps of orange and yellow, with some 1/4 inch batting for the middle. For the yellow squares, I used double-sided iron-on inner facing (the kind with the paper that peels off the back) and then top stitched them all on.

Here’s what the game board looks like set up for four players, and with one piece turned over to show the colored mark inside:

With four players, the game can get pretty crazy!

And here is what it looks like when all the pieces make it home. I just used colored Sharpies, but stickers or paint might work too. Red, yellow, green, and blue, one set for each player.

I also made a pouch to keep the directions in, the pieces, and the game board. Here’s a close-up of the bag.

And the full directions I typed up and laminated for the bag, if you’re interested:

Chaos Directions

General Rules: Chaos is a unique game of mental skill that calls upon its players to recall previous moves and positions of playing pieces that all look identical. The skill of the game lies in remembering which piece belongs to whom as you attempt to move your entire set from one side of the board to the other.

Equipment: The equipment consists of one playing board and 24 playing pieces. The playing pieces, when placed face down, are identical, but when turned over (face up) reveal color.

Preparation: Each player takes 6 playing pieces of the same color and shows the other players. These pieces become the player’s set. The set is The set is placed face down on the first row of the board nearest that player. The player who has the green set moves first with play rotating to the left thereafter.

Object: The object of Chaos is to be the first player to move your entire set across the board to the opposite side.

Moves: During a turn, a player can move a piece in either one or two ways, but always forward, sideways, or diagonally. The player can move it along the board one circle per turn, or jump any piece directly next to it, as long as there is an empty circle to land on after the jump. Player 1 can continue to jump as long as there is a piece directly next to theirs and a circle to land on. Before any player can move any playing piece across the center of the board (which is indicated by a black line) their entire set must be moved out of their original positions, either forward or diagonally.

Penalties:

  • When a player reaches the opposite side of the playing board, the piece is turned over (face up) to reveal its color. If the color is correct, the piece remains there and may not be moved for the remainder of the game. If, however, the color belongs to another player, the playing piece is turned back over and the player to whom the piece belonged must move it from that position in the following turn. The game then continues with the next player’s turn.
  • If player 1 suspects that player 2 is moving a piece that is not hers, player 1 may challenge player 2 as soon as the piece is moved. The piece is then turned over revealing its color. If the challenged player has moved the wrong piece, the piece must be moved back to where it was before the turn, and the player forfeits that turn. If the move was correct and the challenger was wrong, the challenger forfeits his next turn.

Winner: The first player to get their entire set on the last row of the opposite side of the board wins the game.

 

Two-Player Game: Beginner’s Game:
To make a two-player game more interesting, each player should play 2 colors (12 playing pieces each). The playing board should be placed kitty-corner on the table, each player using two adjoining sides as his base rows. Each player makes 2 consecutive moves, moving one playing piece of each of the two colors.  All other rules for a four-player game apply. Play according to the above rules, but with each player using only 3 pieces. As skill increases, add more pieces until you are able to keep track of all 6.

 

 

And there you have it. A new game for free! Hopefully my nephews and niece will enjoy it.

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